Celebrating India and Innovation at UN House
Houses that can help withstand natural disasters; drones that can improve forest management and enable rapid response; India’s first electronic public toilet integrating electronic and web-mobile technologies; necklaces that tell doctors your entire medical history; India’s next mission to the moon; and video games that help fight violence: our journey to 2030 has begun!
To commemorate the 71st anniversary of the United Nations, the UN, NITI Aayog and the XPRIZE joined together to recognise Indian innovators who are helping transform the lives of people in the country. Innovators from government, the private sector, civil society, and educational institutions from around the country shared innovations that will help the country achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The impressive display at UN House was accompanied by speakers and panellists including Sujata Mehta, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India; Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Dr. Gopichand Katragadda, Chief Technology Officer, Tata Group; Zenia Tata, Executive Director Global Expansion, X Prize; Shiv Khemka, Executive Chairman, tGELF, Naveen Jain, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist; and Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator.
UN Day also provided an exciting opportunity for XPRIZE, a highly leveraged, incentivized prize competition that pushes the limits of what’s possible — to change the world for the better, to announce two new Prizes for India. Marcus Shingles, CEO of XPRIZE, and Zenia Tata, executive director of Global Expansion at XPRIZE, announced the launch of the Water Abundance XPRIZE and the Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE.
Aimed at sparking breakthrough solutions to two urgent grand challenges, the US$1.75M Water Abundance XPRIZE sponsored by Tata Group and Australian Aid aims to alleviate the global water crisis with energy-efficient technologies that will harvest fresh water from thin air. The Water Abundance XPRIZE challenges teams from around the world to revolutionize access to fresh water by creating a device that extracts a minimum of 2,000 liters of water per day from the atmosphere using 100% renewable energy, at a cost of no more than 2 cents per liter.
The US$1M Women’s Safety XPRIZE sponsored by Anu and Naveen Jain will leverage technology to empower communities with a transformative solution that ensures women’s safety. The winning team’s solution will autonomously and inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert and transmit information to a network of community responders, all within 90 seconds and at an annual cost of US$40 or less.
List of innovations showcased:
- Bringing medical care right into homes through a cost-effective portable healthcare gadget [Team Danvantri, American Megatrends India]
- eVIN, a path-breaking mobile and web application that enables real-time monitoring of vaccine logistics systems across India [Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India]
- Khushi Baby, a necklace for patients that interfaces with a mobile app for health workers to provide complete health records [UNICEF, ARM, and Frog]
- Made in India, a portable diagnostic kit along with laboratory equipment, powered on solar [ Accuster Technologies]
Exciting steps in water and sanitation
- A water purity monitoring device which can be easily attached to taps, indicating the safety of water for drinking [Khushi Kumari, Rosy, and Rani Kumari]
- India’s first eToilet, integrating electronic and web-mobile technologies [ERAM Group]
- SoaPen, a wearable and portable soap re-designed to encourage hand washing amongst young children [UNICEF, ARM, and Frog]
Resilient and safe housing:
- Urban housing materials and technologies that are cost-effective, disaster resistant, and environmentally friendly [Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India]
- Rural housing innovations using local knowledge and materials, capable of serving the housing needs of poor households [Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India]
Exploration and connectivity
- India’s exciting Lunar Spacecraft and Rover, which aims to land a spacecraft on the moon in 2017 to transmit high-definition media from the lunar surface to earth [Teamindus]
- Forest and ambulance drones, unmanned aerial vehicles to improve forest management, monitor illegal activities, enable rapid response, and facilitate movement of people and organs in medical emergencies [Agni Foundation]
Energy solutions for India
- Solar powered street food cart using energy cake technology, converting bio-mass into smokeless energy for cooking [Energy Research Applications]
- Biomass Gasifiers that emit clean gas and ensures extremely low tar concentrations [TERI]
All’s fun in education and games
- A series of video games that help playes responsibility gather and allocate resources; provide an understanding of choices and their repercussions on inclusive growth; and a virtual knowledge commons that allows players to share their visions and opinions [UNESCO MGIEP]
- Solar powered education solutions tools that creates a digital classroom in the middle of nowhere [4SLearning]
- A Culture Lab platform or platform that allows users to engage with great ideas of the past and interpret current breakthroughs in our understanding of the self and the universe [Memesys Culture Lab]
- Smart Cane, an electronic aid which helps the visually impaired by detecting obstacles using sonic waves communicated through vibrations [ Student project at IIT Delhi, supported by Media Lab Asia, Wellcome Trust, Phoenix Medical Systems and Saksham Trust]